Autumn Arrives!

And with it, the impending birthday! It’s not as fun as it used to be, for sure, but still nice to keep having them, I guess.

Fall is usually a semi-depressive time for me in general and this one is no different. So, let’s get caught up, shall we?

– Last week of September, MRC laid me off, citing ‘labour cost is too high, gotta make cuts’. Hmm. Ok.

– It was fine, tho, because I had a big catering gig at the condos! Great Gatsby party for 75+ ppl! It was a huge success and I was very pleased overall, as were my clients. Shout out to Nick for helping me set up at the party and keep things filled.

– The layoff continued and I decided to poke around for another prep job. Got a callback from a well known BBQ place here in ATL. I’ve got an interview today and I might stage tomorrow. The only drawback is a 7am start time. OUCH. But I think their pay will be better than MRC and I know I’ll do more than be a human veg-o-matic.

– I also contacted MRC to see if they’d be recalling me, because the schedule is perfect and I can do the job with my eyes closed. They said ‘SURE! You can come back and work the line!’. Um. I HATE working the line. I feel like I was demoted. Not happy with that. I’ll work one shift this week, but I hope the BBQ joint is cool and I can take that. It’ll be worth the hellish start time if I can actually cook and learn about BBQ.

– I am also pursuing a retail job at a local well known liquor store. They’ve been incommunicado, so I doubt anything will come of it.

– Just this morning, I got an Indeed lead for a food research company looking for contractors. The pay is bleh ($15), but it’s actual research, so that interests me.

That’s pretty much all that’s going on. The headcold that has plagued me for 2 wks is on the way out. Trying to get back to exercising 3x/wk. I consider working in a kitchen exercise, but I want to try to keep doing weights at least. We’ll see. And with that, I’m off to do said exercise and get ready for my interview. Kinda hope I like the BBQ place despite the hours. I really like being in the kitchen. :)

Whittling Away the Socials

This is a crosspost from SubStack. I usually post from here to there, I wanted to try something different.

The other day, I logged out of Twitter (“X”), probably for good. I was seeing the exact same posts with different users and slightly different titles – the work of bots, no doubt. It’s bad enough I can’t see anything from anyone I follow, but adding bot posts to a feed that’s already logjammed with ads is egregious. NOPE.

A couple of days ago, I get a mystery warning from FB about a post that “violates cybersecurity rules” and had been removed. Um? What? Of course the post in question was not given. I could not find anything missing from the last month, so one can assume the post is old. Hell, it could be FIVE YEARS OLD for all I know. Whatever, FB, WHATEVER.

THEN, this morning, I pop over to IG (in Chrome) and there’s ANOTHER warning about a comment “violating community rules”, but the popup advising me of this is in a reload loop that cannot be stopped. I tried everything, disabled my ad blockers, etc., to no avail. I could read what it was about in between reloads (of about 1-2 seconds) and the comment they were bitching about was me telling an IG semi-celebrity how much I loved his posts and how helpful his videos are! LOL Yeah, buddy, that is some horrible shit right there! How AWFUL of me! So I closed the tab and tried the app. While not in a reload loop, the app is also disabled with the challenge message and will not refresh. So, just for shits, I tried Safari and IG worked fine. It did not give me the popup at all, so again: WHATEVER. FB has ruined IG just as I said it would.

If the IG app continues to misbehave, I guess I’ll stop using IG as well. It’s a shame, I like to post my food on there. There goes TWO socials in a week. :(

Which brings me to Substack.

I normally post to my blog, then repost here (to Substack), but today, I decided to post here first. Just to see the results. I’ll likely repost this to the blog since it’s turned into a longer essay than I anticipated.

I’m still reading books at a pretty good clip. I’ve read 23 this year with 2 in progress now. I average about 30 books a year – a number I’m proud of. Reading has always been one of my loves. It’s why I have a huge vocabulary and a wide knowledge base. [Edited out the reference to this blog, if you’re here, you know about the Reading List post, right?]

I have a catering gig at the end of the month. It’s the biggest one I’ve done: 75 people! I have done the recipes before, the biggest issue is storage of the prep and finished food pre-party. I’ll figure it out. I’ve got 2 fridges, which helps, and I have several items I can prep early in the week and hold until the gig. I hope IG gets straightened out, I’d like to post this catering gig there. Sigh.

If you like this newsletter, feel free to share it. :)

FOMO and Current Events

I expect to suffer MUCH FOMO this coming weekend due to DragonCon happening. We are not going this year for the first time in…? Forever? I’ve been OK with it so far, but this weekend will be tough. Going to try to stay away from media as much as I can. (HA! RIGHT. I’ll be all over it and whining the whole time! LOL)

While I’ve not had much to write about of late, as you know from lack of posts, we feel that things are turning a corner, however, for us and our close friends. One friend got a new job, another finally found a house to rent and yet another is buying the house he’s rented for a decade.

The friend buying the house is particularly relevant to us, because he is using some sort of Fannie Mae plan that offers a GRANT to pay the down payment. This could be OUR ticket to buying this place and getting the full on security we want. Renting is awesome, don’t get me wrong, but when renting from an individual, there’s always the chance of the house being sold – which is what happened to my friend who ended up buying. Anyway, this Fannie Mae product is very interesting to me and I’m going to enquire about seeing if we qualify. The business bankruptcy might cockblock us, but even so, by consulting with our friend the mortgage lender, we can at least get a plan to work towards the mortgage, even if we don’t outright qualify now.

Let me tell you: having something to work TOWARDS will make all the difference, I think.

We have been sort of floating since the pub failure. Now that we’re on firmer ground – with Nick’s new job and my p/t job bringing in more money, we’re getting better all round. We are ready for The Next Thing. And I think that Thing will be securing our domicile.

I also just got an enquiry about catering a large (75-100ppl) party in September. I’m not certain I can handle it – it really depends on what they want to do and if they’ll pay. Prepping, cooking and holding that much food is pretty tricksy in my small home kitchen. We’ll see. Shout out to Lauren for hooking me up with the condos in Buckhead. They loved my food and these people are the ones who contact me for catering. So, THANK YOU LAUREN! XO

I guess we’re in good shape for the shape we’re in. I’ll take it! Oh, keep an eye on the reading list, I’ve been updating it quite a bit. I’ve finished some books and I’m adding more! We were in two Goodwills this week, and you know I canNOT stay out of the books! Ciao ciao and have a great week!

Bland Malaise

This is what I’ve begun calling the overall feeling I have had forever. Bland malaise. Bland because it’s not defined or even very sharp, it’s like a light blanket. Malaise is an undefined BLEH, again, not defined, just BLEH. A blanket of BLEH that covers my life! Perfect!

This is why my blog posts are few and far between. There is literally nothing exciting happening over here. I cook. I do laundry. I do TEV stuff Mon/Tue. I do prep Wed/Thu. I get drunk on Fridays. (Which I am trying to reel in. It ends up wasting Saturdays and there’s NO POINT in it.)

I do have a new recipe that I’m working on, a shallot tart thing, that will be up soon. It’s easy and pretty, tasty warm or room temp. Perfect for parties and catering, too. Not that I get any catering gigs. But yanno. ::shrug::

Nick has been working a lot. They are short a person in production, so he has to carry the load of two. As usual. Overwork was the issue at Minuteman and it is the issue here. This is the plague of working in America. Management is poor and employee retention is not going to happen when you work your people to burnout. This is not a difficult concept, yet I see it across the board. When did it become the norm to beat employees like rented mules and then wonder why you can’t keep people? This idea that fewer employees is saving money is just not real. IT IS NOT REAL. Fewer employees means that you’ll have turnover, which costs far more than simply hiring enough people to carry the workload without having to work 60 hr weeks. It is not rocket surgery.

We had a conversation about hobbies and art the other night and I had an epiphany. A small one, anyway. The reason I feel so unfulfilled, even with cooking, is that it’s ephemeral. What I do is consumed, so there is nothing left to represent my work when it’s done. Sure, I’ve got recipes and photos, but the actual work is gone. I think this is why I feel that I don’t really accomplish anything. I know I do intellectually, but it doesn’t feel that way. With other forms of expression such as drawing, painting, building, etc., you have an actual thing that exists in the world. It’s just different than what I do.

Hence the bland malaise.

I’ll trundle on, I always do. I’ll do the things I’m supposed to. I’ll cook and write recipes. I’ll hope that we can get a vacay this year, but it’s not looking good, thanks to Nick’s job that is managed poorly. We fucked around and waited too long to get Dragoncon tix, and now they are full priced $175. The only way we’ll do THAT is if we can split them with friends. It’s just so fucking annoying. I can tell you, however, that I WILL NOT be paying fucking $350 for us to carouse Dragoncon for a day. NOPE.

I hope that I can find a way to feel a bit better than I do now. Perhaps another party will help… Whatever, onward we must go. Qaplah’!

Angela’s Red Chili

Print

Angela's Red Chili

This is my go-to chili recipe. It's fast and easy!
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American
Keyword beef, beef chili, red chili
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 8 bowls
Author misangela

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground or minced beef
  • 1 small white onion, diced about 2/3 cup
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbl olive oil
  • 1 Tbl flour
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika or hot paprika if you like heat
  • 1 Tbl chili powder to taste
  • 1 tsp dry oregano optional
  • 1 can red enchilada sauce I like A La Orden brand
  • 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes I use the Garlic ones
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 Tbl agave optional
  • 2 Tbl ketchup for sweetness and deep tomato flavor
  • S/P to taste

Instructions

  • In a large pot, put EVOO, onions and garlic over med high heat.
  • When onions get soft, add meat and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add flour, cumin, paprika, chili powder and oregano. Add 1 tsp salt. Stir over heat to integrate the spices with the meat and cook out the flour, about 5-6 minutes until meat is about halfway cooked.
  • Add enchilada sauce, tomatoes and beans. Stir. Bring back to simmer over med low heat, partially covered.
  • Simmer for about 10 minutes, add agave and ketchup. Continue to simmer for another 10 minutes.
  • Taste to make sure the ketchup is cooked out and check S/P. Turn off heat.
  • Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, hot sauce, jalapenos or whatever you like!

Notes

This chili will freeze well. 
I like to make a deeply flavourful chili that people can make as spicy as they wish. I like pickled jalapenos in mine!
This is also great over tater tots or even pasta!